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The Moviegoer

"Things to Come" Fantastic Prophecy of the Future; Gadgets of H. G. Wells Grotesque

By C. E. G. jr.

Woven into a fantastic prophesy of the course of life in the next century, "Things to Come" offers a horse drench of the bold philosophy of H. G. Wells and a glimpse into the Wellsian Utopia: a thought-provoking experience.

Even the machine-loving Wells, who delights in huge dynamos and motors, can little more than hazard a fantastic guess as to the material form of the world in 2036. Gigantic cranes, enormous turbines, subterranean glass cities, and unidentifyable masses of machinery (produced by miniature effects and unusual angles) all contribute to a world of technical wonders. Yet these are childishly grotesque, limited by the incapability of the imagination and hampered by the confinements of the present. It is more than exceptional photographic artistry: meaningless.

It is a bold attempt, nevertheless, and embodies a real philosophy. The theory of eternal strife assumes a futuristic form as the Age of Science tempestuously follows its course to a "sane and practical" Utopia. Futility, the imperfection of mere humanity, the loss of individuality, and the desire for happiness all rebel against the omnipotence of science, and the final fade-out leaves with us the unanswered question: "The conquest of the universe--or nothing! What shall it be?"

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